With today’s commute, I’ve brought my monthly total up to 408km — above 400km for the first time since May.
High temperatures and rainy weather cut into my riding in the intervening months, which is not surprising in light of Japan’s climate and typhoon activity. What’s interesting about my breaking through the 400km mark this month is that the lion’s share of the riding was from commuting. I cycled to and from work no less than 10 times this month (out of 22 working days), for 259.52km or 63.5% of the total.
Also of note: I didn’t achieve a fondo (metric century) this month, which makes the 400km total all the more surprising.
We’d planned to ride to Nanasawa Onsen on Sept. 18-19, but a typhoon put paid to that. (We ended up going by car.) And Sept. 25-26 was another road trip, this time to Tateshina in Nagano.
(The forecast for tomorrow is for rain, so I already know I won’t be improving on this month’s statistics.)
So what’s the big deal?
It’s true that 400km is a rather arbitrary number. But Strava offers a badge at 400km/month, and I register for it each month even if I don’t think I’m going to get there (as in July and August).
I’ll just note in this context that 400km is about three days’ riding for Fearless Leader Joe … (We actually did 400km in days 2-4 of Lejog, and north of 370km/3 days in days 4-7.)
Strava used to have an 800km badge, but I haven’t seen it recently. The next level up now is 1,200km.
The things I’ve seen, son
I could tell you stories
A partial list of things I’ve seen and encountered during my now-regular commuting routine:
- A scooter rider who must have been told he resembled John Banner, because he wore a German military-style helmet (and did indeed look quite a bit like Sergeant Schultz as a result)
- じゃんじゃんおじさん (Jingle-Jangle Uncle), a middle-aged man in bright, clownish apparel (including a sign with this appellation) and sporting signboards spelling out the evils of littering, who was picking up empty cans and other litter
- Rain on a day with a forecast of 0% probability of precipitation
- An Uber Eats rider rounding an intersection corner into the bike lane, without pausing to check if someone else was already in the bike lane
(To be fair, a lot of Japanese cyclists do this — but I expect a bit better of those who cycle for a living)
- More than a few drivers of German sports cars who sidle up to the curb at stop lights, preventing cyclists from advancing in the cycling lane
- A line of traffic more than a kilometer long at a location where I’m used to encountering three or four vehicles waiting at the light
- A monster-tired bike with an outsized gold rear hub which turned out to be an electric motor — something to keep in mind for the day my legs give out (although I doubt those tires will fit in the bicycle parking racks at home)
- No end of boorish behavior by motorists
The rattle of ice cubes in the bidon doth not a mechanical makePerpetual reminder to self
Where to next?
October is typically a sweet spot for cycling, so long as the typhoons hold off. Sunday is looking nice so I’m planning to dust off Kuroko then. I have a long weekend at the end of the month that I usually use for rides — such as Okutama or Miura Kaigan — but this year we’ve got yet another road trip planned.